Today I poked around some local southeast Michigan hardwood forests searching for tasty morel mushrooms. Although I’ve heard favorable reports from others, I was unable to locate any. While digging through the damp leaf litter, however, I did find a lot of land snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda).
The class Gastropoda has over 60,000 known species in hundreds of families. Among the animals the gastropods are second only to insects in total species. Between this level of diversity and my lack of formal training with this group, I’ve never made an attempt to identify any beyond the class level. I can only suspect that the two snails shown here are different species, based on their coloration and structural differences.
In the photo above you can see the meager eye spots on the tips of the tentacles. Since these snails spend much of their time active at night and under cover, vision is a far less important sense to them than taste, smell, and touch.